H-1B Temporary Worker Visa

For departments/units who are interested in hiring an international scholar for a tenure-track faculty or professional staff position, the information on this webpage will provide you with the necessary information.

Information for Prospective Employees

If you have been offered employment at the University of New Hampshire and the position qualifies for H-1B status, OISS will prepare and submit an application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf.

The H-1B visa is widely used in the U.S. for the temporary employment of foreign nationals.  This status is used for the employment of foreign nationals in "specialty occupations," defined as those which "require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge requiring the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree as a minimum for entry into the occupation."

H-1B non-immigrant status provides foreign nationals with permission to be employed in the United States for a specific period of time, for a specific employer, with a specific title, at a specific salary, at a specific location.  The maximum period of stay for H-1B workers is 6 years, available in increments of up to three years.  At the end of the six-year period, the foreign employee must either:

  • depart the U.S.;
  • apply to change his/her status to another non-immigrant classification; or
  • obtain a green card to become a U.S. permanent resident.

Obtaining approval of an H-1B petition will require many months.  Premium Processing is available if you or your employing department is willing to pay an additional fee to USCIS.  Although OISS will do its best to accommodate your needs, it is not within our power to circumvent the system or shortcut federal regulations. Therefore, it is imperative that you plan accordingly and submit the required information as quickly as possible.

The U.S. government has set certain standards for use of H-1B non-immigrant classification.  The foreign employee must:

  • have a U.S. degree or a foreign degree equivalent to the U.S. degree;
  • have education, specialized training or experience that is equivalent to training acquired by attainment of a bachelor's (or higher) degree;
  • hold full state licensure, registration or certification which authorizes practice in the occupation (if required by state or federal law).

If you currently hold J-1 status (or have held it in the past), it is possible that you may be subject to a "Two-Year Home Residency Requirement."  If you are subject to this requirement, you will not be able to obtain H-1B status until you:

  • return to your home country for two years, or
  • obtain a waiver of the requirement from the U.S. Federal Government

In general, this requirement applies to those:

  • whose exchange visitor program was financed by the U.S. Government and/or their home government; or
  • whose skills are in short supply in their home country as determined by that government; or
  • whose purpose in coming to the United States was to receive graduate medical education or training.

If you are subject to the requirement, this might be noted on your DS-2019 and/or your J-1 visa.  In addition, you will need to apply for a waiver from the U.S. Department of State.  Grounds for obtaining a waiver are limited, and even when successful, can take about one year to obtain.

Application Process

Please submit an online application to OISS at least 120 days in advance of the employee's proposed employment start date.


  • New departmental users are encouraged to attend a training before submitting their first online application. Please contact oiss@unh.edu for upcoming training sessions.
  • Request Access to eOISS Online Services (only need to complete this step once)
  • Complete and submit an online H-1B Application for a New Employee via eOISS Online Services
    • Make sure to grant the employee (Scholar) access to the online application
    • You will need to provide the following documents:
      • A copy of the job offer letter signed by the employee
      • A detailed copy of the position, including job duties and responsibilities, minimum education, professional requirements, and the salary offered
      • A copy of the job advertisement

Employee (Scholar)

  • Hiring department/unit will grant you access to your online application via eOISS Online Services
    • You will need to upload the following documents:
      • Copies of diplomas and transcripts for all degrees earned (All documents not in English must be accompanied by an official, certified translation. If degrees were earned outside the U.S., it will be necessary to have an equivalency evaluation of these credentials done by an outside credentialing agency.)
      • Copies of passports for yourself and any family members (Including the following pages: biographic information page showing name, date of birth, picture, etc.; page containing the passport expiration date; pages with any U.S. visas.)
      • If you are in the U.S., copies of your most recent Form I-94 (Record of Arrival and Departure)
      • If you have been in the U.S. previously as a student or exchange visitor, copies of all DS-2019 and I-20 forms issued to you
      • If applicable (mostly for those previously in H-1B status), copies of all Forms I-797 (Notices of Action) ever issued to you
      • A copy of your most recent C.V. (curriculum vitae)

After all sections of the online application have been submitted and approved by the necessary UNH staff, OISS will be able to review and then begin the pre-filing steps for the H-1B petition.

Filing the H-1B Petition

After receiving a complete H-1B Application for a New Employee, OISS will submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor. After the LCA has been certified, OISS will file an H-1B petition with USCIS to request permission to employ the foreign national in H-1B status.

The H-1B petition must include:

  • Form I-129, H Classification Supplement, H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement;
  • The Certified Labor Condition Application;
  • A university support letter which includes a detailed description of the job duties and minimum salary offered, the exact dates of employment, and the employee’s qualifications for the position as described.
  • Additional information concerning the employee’s qualifications for the position and proving current non-immigrant status (if currently in the U.S.)

Filing Fees

USCIS imposes fees for filing all immigration-related petitions. Because the application is filed by the employer on behalf of the employee, the hiring department is responsible for the payment of all filing fees which must be submitted with the H-1B petition. OISS will notify the department to obtain checks as the case proceeds.

Premium Processing Fees

USCIS will expedite an H-1B petition approval for an additional “premium processing” fee of $2,805. This fee is in addition to the regular filing fee. USCIS promises adjudication of an H-1B petition within 15 days of receipt when this additional fee is paid at the time of filing. Normal processing time without “premium processing” can take many months.

 H-1B Immigration Rights and Responsibilities

This information is for UNH employees who hold H-1B status.

If you were granted a change of status to H-1B from within the U.S., you were issued Form I-797 by USCIS.  Please be aware that Form I-797 is not a visa, although it does permit you to work at UNH for a specific time period.

The next time you travel outside of the U.S., you need to apply for a visa in order to return in H-1B status.  You will need to take the original Form I-797, along with any other documents required by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Special Information for Canadian Citizens

Citizens of Canada are not required to obtain a visa to enter the U.S.  However, an H-1B petition still must be filed with USCIS.  You will simply present your Form I-797 to the U.S. Customs Officer at the port-of-entry.

The maximum allowable time for any individual to remain in the U.S. in H-1B status is 6 years.  Immigration regulations permit an employer to ask for a maximum of an initial three years, with extensions of up to an additional three years.  At the end of the six-year period, the holder of an H-1B visa must do one of the following:

  • depart the U.S. for a period of no less than 1 year before he/she is eligible for a new H-1B status or visa;
  • change to a different non-immigrant visa category (if eligible); or
  • obtain permanent residence in the U.S.

You have permission to be employed at UNH until the expiration date listed on your Form I-797 or your Form I-94.  If you are offered an opportunity to extend your employment at UNH, we must file a request for extension with USCIS.  To remain in valid status, this extension request must be filed before the date your current stay expires.  H-1B extension petitions can be filed a maximum of six months before the expiration of current status.  Requests for extensions of stay must be made by your department/unit on your behalf.

If you were outside the U.S. at the time an H-1B petition was filed on your behalf, you must wait to receive the Form I-797 from UNH before you can apply for a visa to enter the U.S. Visit the U.S. State Department's list of Embassies and Consulates for application procedures and visa issuance requirements.

It is important for you to understand that you are only authorized to work for UNH.  The H-1B status is employer and position specific.  If you accept a position with another employer, you may begin work at that institution as long as your new employer files another H-1B petition on your behalf.

If you are offered the opportunity to change positions within UNH, you must contact OISS before you assume your new position.  Depending upon the circumstances of the change, we may be required to submit an amended petition to USCIS, which will allow you to hold a different position.

International employees holding H-1B status are considered residents of the U.S. for tax purposes, and as such, are subject to Social Security (FICA) taxes, as well as federal income tax.

It is your responsibility to comply with all federal immigration regulations which govern your specific non-immigrant visa classification.  Remaining in the U.S. beyond the designated period granted by USCIS could subject you to a bar from re-entering the U.S. for a period of up to ten years.  Please do not jeopardize your legal right to remain in the U.S. by accepting unauthorized employment, failing to apply for an extension of stay as necessary, or violating your immigration status in some other manner.